Functional morphology and neural control of neck muscles in mammals

BW Peterson*, A Pellionisz, JF Baker, EA Keshner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


SYNOPSIS. Although the data described in this paper are from a traditional experimental animal, the cat, the problem addressed is applicable to many forms of motor control in a broad range of species. In general, we are trying to understand how the musculo-skeletal structure of a body component imposes constraints on how that component is controlled by the central nervous system. Our approach to this problem has been to develop a theoretical model of sensory-motor integration in complex systems where movement is produced by a large number of muscles and then to test whether that model can predict the patterns of neck muscle activity that underlie head movements. The resulting theoretical interpretation of physiological data sheds light on the organization of head movement control in the cat and also reveals a number of fundamental principles that must be considered in trying to characterize and understand any sensory-motor system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science


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